The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes continued liberal waterfowl hunting season lengths and bag limits for the 2015-16 late seasons
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) proposes continued liberal waterfowl hunting season lengths and bag limits for the 2015-16 late seasons. Each year, the Service works in partnership with states from the four Flyway Councils (Pacific, Central, Mississippi, and Atlantic) to establish regulatory frameworks for waterfowl hunting season lengths, dates and bag limits. States select their individual seasons from within the federal frameworks to establish their earliest beginning and latest ending dates, and bag limits.
The proposed federal frameworks 2015-16 late seasons include duck hunting season lengths of 60 days in both the Atlantic and Mississippi Flyways, 74 days in the Central Flyway (with an additional 23 days in the High Plains areas), and 107 days in the Pacific Flyway. The proposed frameworks include a full season on pintails with a two-bird daily bag limit nationwide, and a full season on canvasbacks with a two-bird daily bag limit nationwide. The proposed late-season waterfowl frameworks will appear in a mid-August edition of the Federal Register for public comment.
Although most duck populations remain steady, when and where waterfowl will be encountered this fall depends on many factors. Food availability, habitat conditions and other factors all influence local duck and goose abundance, distribution, behavior and ultimately, hunter success.
The Service continues to monitor habitat changes throughout the survey regions and is mindful of large-scale changes in the all regions of North America. Climatic changes and extreme weather events may negatively impact duck production in the future.
Conservation efforts are important to ensuring continued population stability of ducks and geese. Waterfowl hunters contribute to conservation efforts through the purchase of a Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (also known as the Duck Stamp). The purchase of habitat ultimately benefits waterfowl and other birds as well as many other species of wildlife.
The Waterfowl Status Report, more details from the waterfowl population survey crews, and information about waterfowl management across North America are available. View the 2015 Waterfowl Status video.